hosted a photography workshop last week (more on that coming soon!) and one of the most common frustrations and/or worries I heard from photographers dealt with marketing and/or booking weddings. Apparently, I'm loving and/or today. More specifically, how can a wedding photographer market his services with very little money? We had some great conversations, so today I'll be sharing three marketing tips for photographers.
In today's installment of Shooting Star, I'll be talking about...
...marketing by using photographs from past weddings to connect with vendors...
...marketing by way of Facebook to allow friends, family and fans to endorse your services...
...marketing by way of your peers (if you'd like to learn more about this in depth, also check out this video)
If you have feedback, questions, or ideas for future installments of Shooting Star, feel free to holler back in the comment box below. Happy Thursday!
Shooting Star : Directive Posing
couple months ago, I was really nervous before an engagement session. Like sweaty hand nervous, which is so who-will-ask-me-to-Homecoming, right?! I mean, how old am I and why would my hands think it's okay to revert back to the days when I thought blond highlights looked natural on me?! GET IT TOGETHER, JASMINE.
In light of this, I begged JD to join me for the engagement session (his inner chi could calm a hurricane) and he obliged on the condition I'd treat him to McNuggets afterward (this? This is a big deal because I think McDonald's is trying to poison Americans...yes, I watch too many documentaries). Once we arrived, I fell into my usual shooting groove and he was at liberty to shoot what he wanted. JD filmed a few behind-the-scenes moments, which demonstrate how I use Directive Posing during an engagement session.
In this Shooting Star, I'll discuss the following...
*How I start an engagement session by using explanations to set expectations.
*How to use Directive Posing to smoothly move from one pose to the next.
*How to create naturally posed images by instructing subjects to walk while simultaneously pose.
If you'd like to see more on the topic of Directive Posing, feel free to check out THIS photography tutorial for a more in depth perspective to how I work with my clients.
Shooting Star : How to Photograph Wedding Rings
make no joke about my love for all things Facebook. It's creepy actually. Mark Zuckerberg should be scared of me because if I saw his Audi, I might leave a thank you note tucked in the windshield. Why, yes, I know he drives an Audi. Like I said, creeeeepy.
In all seriousness, the reason I like Facebook is because it allows me to connect with photographers and makes the photo industry--which sometimes feels polarizing and isolating--a bit smaller. A place where we say y'all and smile at strangers. When people write on my wall, I try to personally respond or others step in and help along the way. Because at the end of the day, we all want to follow our dreams and helping each other is the best way to get there.
Last week, I was asked How To Photograph Wedding Rings:
I thought it made for a series of great questions, so I decided to answer them and shoot a demonstration for this installment of Shooting Star. In this video, I'll answer:
*How I get inspiration for wedding ring photos
*What background works best when photographing wedding rings
*Whether I plan the wedding ring photos in advance
*How long I spend photographing wedding rings
*How I set up wedding rings
*Demonstration: How I photograph wedding rings
I hope this helps just one person...and then this person pays it forward...and, together, we create a ripple effect to make the industry stronger. Together.
Shooting Star : How to Get Likes on Facebook
ometimes my patience wears so thin it's translucent. It's almost as if I expect people who are close to me to read my mind and when they don't, I want to chew on coconut rinds. I heard coconut was good for your teeth, but I think it'd be better used as a way to express how frustrated one might be. Gnawing on brown, hairy fruit might give juuuust the right impression of all my toughness. Or my healthy gums.
Note to self: Don't write blog posts after someone hasn't read your mind.
In other news, I received a question from a reader (Hi, Ashley!) who asked how to get more Likes and interaction on Facebook. I'll be the first to say I'm not an expert on the matter, but I'd be honored to give my opinion. Facebook has been a game-changer for my wedding photography and I'd be happy to share how I approach it. This video will focus on...
*Why I don't sync Twitter and Facebook updates.
*The importance of sharing more personal updates than business updates.
*Why the more you talk about your business from your page, the less people will listen.
*How I get clients to Like my business page...without even asking!
I hope this video helps a few people, but if I missed the mark, feel free to chew on coconut rinds and I'll know I need to try again.
Review : Canon 5D MIII
This post has been a long time coming. The main reason I waited in reviewing the Canon 5DMIII was because I wanted to use it...like, really, really use it. I wanted to use it in low-light situations, gauge the LCD screen in full sun, travel with it, and shoot a handful of engagements and weddings before I gave my opinions. However, if you'd like the abbreviated version, here ya go: I wanna make out with this camera and wear his varsity jacket.
85mm f/1.2 1/1000 200 ISO
If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know I started my photography business photographing my first wedding with the Canon 20D in 2006. I upgraded to the Canon 5D in 2008 and later upgraded to the Canon 5DMII in 2010. Part of the reason I jumped at the 5DMII was because of the higher ISO capabilities, the video capabilities, the larger LCD screen, and what I hoped would be a better focusing system. Because I frequently shoot wide open (me and f/1.2 are long-lost camp buddies who sewed our initials onto each others' pillow cases in the summer of '94), I craved a focusing system that allowed me to maximize what I could do with great glass. The MII's focusing system wasn't an upgrade from the 5D and I actually preferred the color profiles from the 5D as opposed to the MII.
Either way, I used the 5DMII and enjoyed the video capabilities as an addition to the brand with the installments of Shooting Star.
85mm f/1.8 1/160 250 ISO
When the 5DMIII was announced, I immediately placed my order at Adorama and it arrived on my doorstep a couple days later. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the new Menu layout and the focussing system. Yes, the FOCUSSING SYSTEM. I had to use cap locks because if you were sitting in my office, I'd be shouting in your face with a Puerto Rican accent that sometimes appears when I'm excited. The focussing system is beautiful, glorious, and makes me think Paula Dean is sitting on my sensor because when it locks in, it's like BUTTER.
Both the 5D and the 5DMII have a nine-point focus system, but the 5DMIII has a 61-point focus system. What this basically means is the focus points are magical now. No, really...have a looksie...
In all seriousness, because I was limited to the nine focus points on the MII, I was constantly focusing and recomposing my shot. Now that I have 61 options, it has radically changed my approach and yielded many more tact sharp photos. It took me a bit to learn how to quickly change my focal point while shooting on the fly, but it's slowly becoming second nature and totally worth the results.
The color profile for the MIII is vastly improved from the MII and most of the time I love the color straight out of camera (using the Standard Picture Style) when properly exposed, so these two things alone made my investment worthwhile. The added bonus was the gnarly 16000 ISO (although I have yet to have used it over 2000 ISO because when shooting wide open, even minimal light is just enough to capture the mood and moment) and though I hope I don't have to use it, it's nice to know I have it in a tough situation. At a recent wedding in Cancun, I shot without flash just past sunset using the just videographer's light to illuminate my subjects...
50mm f/1.2 1/100 1000 ISO
Even in strongly backlit situations, the focus is vastly superior to the 5D and 5DMII and I don't have to work as hard to get the shot I want. This was the only photo I took in this position because it locked in immediately and was completely in focus...
35mm f/1.4 1/2000 160 ISO
I'll end this review here because if I go on, I'll start talking about how I might tan my camera and enter it into a pageant because it's so worth of a Ultimate Grand Supreme crown and sash. Of course, it's always important to remember the camera doesn't make the photographer...the photographer makes the photographer. You don't need fancy gear to start a business or pursue your dreams and don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. This post was written merely to express my opinions, albeit silly and light-hearted. If you're looking for a legit techy review, simply Google what you're looking for and it'll pop up. For those who appreciate butter, unicorns, and tanning, this one's for you.